Instructor: Barbara Lyon
Summer 2015
Course Description: This accelerated, literature-based course introduces students to collegelevel scholarship involving careful reading and critical analysis of literature. Focus includes the
study of genre and historical/societal context, literary theory, rhetorical analysis, and sentence
style and correctness. Writing skills are developed with attention to form, style, and structure as
well as content. Students will produce essays that explain, evaluate and interpret major works
studied and will monitor their growth as writers.
While efforts are directed largely to the development of skills and knowledge required to pass
the Advanced Placement English Literature Exam, primary emphasis is on the advanced level
of course work and will require significant reading outside of class. In order to prepare students
for this level of intellectual rigor, they are required to read and annotate closely the following
works prior to the first day of class:
How to Read Literature like a Professor by Thomas C. Foster
Read the entirety of the book and complete three (3) of the five (5) assignments below. Your
responses should connect to Atonement when appropriate. These short writing
assignments will let you practice and develop your literary analysis skills. Please type these
Introduction: How’d He Do That?
How do memory, symbol, and pattern affect the reading of literature? How does the recognition
of patterns make it easier to read complicated literature? Discuss how your summer reading
novel is enhanced by understanding symbol or pattern.
Chapter 1: Every Trip Is a Quest (Except When It's Not)
List the five aspects of the QUEST and then apply them to your summer reading novel in the
form used on pages 3-5.
Chapter 12: Is That a Symbol?
Read “Araby” (http://www.classicshorts.com/stories/araby.html) and investigate the symbolism
of the fence in “Araby.” (Mangan’s sister stands behind it.)
Chapter 13: It's All Political
Assume that Foster is right and “it is all political.” Use his criteria to show that your summer
reading novel is political.
Chapter 19: Geography Matters...
Discuss at least four different aspects of your summer reading novel that Foster would classify
under “geography.”
10372 McFadden Ave., Westminster CA 92683
Atonement by Ian McEwan
After reading the novel, read and annotate the article “Briony’s Stand Against Oblivion” by Brian
Finny (www.csulb.edu/~bhfinney/mcewan.html)
 Determine and annotate Finney’s basic thesis.
 Determine and annotate (with summary notes) the content of the criticism that Finney is
writing against—what are the critics saying?
 Finney breaks down his thesis by referring to the specific ways that McEwan uses
specific literary devices in his narrative. Figure out and label what those are and how
McEwan uses them to develop his work (use summary notes in your margins).
 Why does Finney believe that Atonement is such an excellent specimen?
 Bring your annotated copy on the first day of class.
During the first full week of school, students will be asked to demonstrate familiarity with the
summer reading texts by writing an AP style critical analysis essay on a text of the instructor's
choosing and/or taking objective tests on the works. I recommend purchasing your own copies
of the works in order to annotate and highlight in the books assigned. However, you may also
check out books from local libraries. (Post-it notes also work well for annotating.)
If you have any questions, please see me in room 201 or email me during the summer at
[email protected]
Have a fabulous summer!
Barbara Lyon
10372 McFadden Ave., Westminster CA 92683